VOLTAGE REGULATOR AND PARALLEL OPERATION
Generator sets are operated in parallel to improve fuel economy and reliability of thepower supply. Economy is improved with multiple paralleled generators by selecting onlysufficient generators to carry the load demand at any given time. By operating each gen-erator near its full capacity, fuel is utilized efficiently.Power system reliability is improved by availability of generators not in use as backup forunits on line. In addition, protective systems can be designed to detect a faulty elementand isolate it from the healthy part while maintaining power to the remaining system. Withmultiple generators carrying the load, a generator that develops a problem can be shutdown, allowing the remaining generators to carry the load.Because of advantages of parallel operation, multiple generator installation has becomecommon in applications for standby and prime power, portable and stationary power,commercial and military power; and they continue to grow.Operating generators in parallel required attention to the two control systems of the gen-erator set - the voltage regulator and the speed governor. This discussion is limited to thecontrol of the voltage regulator.
PARALLEL OPERATION AND THE VOLTAGE REGULATOR
An example to illustrate the effect of the voltage regulator on the generator system can beseen using two batteries and a load. In Figure 1, two batteries with voltages
equal(open circuit) could divide load equally, with each battery pulling its share. If the two volt-ages are not exactly equal, the load will not be shared equally, and the benefit of twobatteries will be lost.Figure 1: Paralleled Batteries - Equal VoltageFurther, the load division is very sensitive to voltage unbalance. In Figure 2, the battery withan output voltage of 102 (B2) will determine the load voltage, and the load sees a propor-tionally higher current. Battery B1 is being charged by B2 at a 5 ampere rate because itsterminal voltage is lower. This charging current is obviously not proportional to the voltagelevel and results in a load current on B2 in excess of 6 Amperes.